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Bearded Collie – Complete Dog Breed Information On The Herding Dog

Bearded Collie
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The bubbly and bouncing Bearded Collie is one of Scotland’s loud, energetic, and loyal imports.

The Bearded Collie is known affectionately as the Beardie. The name that comes from the hair that hangs down from the chin and forms a beard.

This animated breed is famous for the “Beardie Bounce”. It holds a hopping yo-yo leap that shows her cheerful, carefree attitude about the world.

Bearded Collie Breed Characteristics

  • Origin: Scotland
  • Size: Medium-sized
  • Dog Breed Group: Herding group
  • Purebred: Yes
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Height: Males 20- 22 inches (51- 56 cm) and Females- 20-21 inches(51- 53 cm)
  • Weight: Males 18- 27 Kg(40-60 lbs) and Females 18-27 Kg (40-60 lbs)
  • Coat Appearance: Double coat
  • Coat Colors: Black, Browns, blues, and fawns
  • Temperament: Extrovert, cheerful, friendly
  • Good With Children: Yes
  • Intelligence Level: High
  • Good With Pets: Yes under supervision
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Grooming: High
  • Shedding: High (seasonal)
  • Barking: Barks when necessary
  • Suitable For Apartments: Low
  • Need For Exercise: High
  • Easy To Train: No
  • Good For First Time Owners: Moderate
  • Health Issues: Allergies, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, auto-immune disease, and some eye problems
  • Litter Size: 4-12 puppies, average -7
  • Average Price: $800 -$1200 (us), £400 – £500 (UK)

Bearded Collie Infographic

Bearded Collie Infographics

Bearded Collie History

This medium sized dog breed originated in Scotland during the Victorian era. They used Beardies to herd cattle and sheep in any kind of weather or terrain. Bearded Collie is one of the best-kept secrets of the herding group!

The Bearded Collie is a natural herder, and will not only herd animals but people as well. It was almost wiped out during the Second World War.

The contemporary Bearded Collies exist now mainly due to the work of Mrs. G Olive Willison of England.  In 1944, she bred a pair of Bearded Collies resulting in the resurrection of the breed.

The Bearded Collie has long been known in the Northern England and Scottish Highlands where it was primarily bred for sheep herding.

It is widely considered one of the country’s oldest working breeds dating back to at least the 1600s.

The Beardie is smart, strong, and spirited breed. It likes to work, that is why it’s so valued by farmers. It’s no wonder that the Beardie was so popular when it comes to moving cattle.

Bearded Collie Size And Lifespan

Bearded Collie Size

Height – Males –  20- 22 inches (51- 56 cm) and Females – 20-21 inches(51- 53 cm)

Weight – Males – 18- 27 Kg(40-60 lbs) and Females – 18-27 Kg (40-60 lbs)

Bearded Collie Lifespan

The average life expectancy is 12-14 years. This places the bearded collie at the high end of the average range for longevity for dogs of a similar size.

It is also unheard of bearded collies to have lived longer than this average. Yet, the oldest recorded bearded collie reached almost 20 years old!

Bearded Collie Coat Color

Coat Color

All Bearded Collies are born in color variations of black, blue, brown or fawn. They may be also with or without white markings. When all four colors show up in the same litter, it’s vibrantly called a “rainbow litter.”

Some carry a fading gene and as they grow-up through puppy-hood. Coats darken (lighten) by the time they are 9 to 12 months old.

The dogs are born blue and fawn show shades from dark to light. Brown puppies will lighten from deep chocolate to lighter sandy tone.

Dogs without the fading gene have the color with which they were born. The white only occurs as a blaze on the face, head, chest, legs, around the neck and on the tip of the tail.

Tan markings occasionally appear on the inside of the ears, eyebrows, on the cheeks, on the legs.

Bearded Collie Appearance

Bearded Collie is recognizable for its bushy, weatherproof double coat. It has a flat, harsh, strong and shaggy outer coat and a soft, furry undercoat. This acts as protection against extreme temperatures.

The lengthy hair on the cheeks, lower lips, and under the chin forms the beard for which she is branded. It has a short muzzle and blaze full white collar as well as wide-set eyes of a coloration matching the coat.

Bearded Collie Mix

These are some of the popular and recognized hybrid breeds

  • Bearded Collie x Beagle mix = Beacol
  • Bearded Collie x Poodle mix = Beardoodle
  • Dalmatian + Bearded Collie = Bodacion

Bearded Collie Temperament

  • A Beardie is cheerful, confident, happy-go-lucky, tail-wagging humor.
  • It has a patented “Beardie bounce” described as having Michael Jordan hang time.
  • Like other dog breeds, Beardies come in a range of temperaments, from low-key to lively.
  • She’s an authoritative nanny and a good playmate for children.  Sometimes she may be a bit rude in the presence of small kids. However, they are very good family companions.
  • When choosing a Beardie puppy, try to get a Beardie puppy from a breeder who raises the pups in the home.  He must ensure that they are exposed to many people, household sights and sounds.
  • Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful. They bond firmly with their people but are not particularly protective or possessive.
  • Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who is hiding in the corner or one who is beating up his littermates.
  • The Beardie is an outdoor as well as an indoor dog. It is quite active outdoors, good at dog sports and will do best with even a small-sized yard. It runs, plays and bounces wherever she can enjoy.
  • They are talented escape artists. It’s important for homes and gardens to be beardie-proofed.
  • They are not the best choice for apartment-dwellers unless daily dog-walkers are part of the picture.
  • They are also good in breezy, harsh or damp areas since these dogs can endure any weather conditions.
  • Watch her diet and make sure she gets plenty of exercises. Regularly brush her teeth and coat. Make sure to adhere to the schedule of examinations and vaccinations.
  • Beardie puppies are sensitive to noise. Hence, it’s important to keep the noise levels down when a new puppy arrives in the home.

How To Train A Bearded Collie?

Bearded Collies are smart enough to manipulate their owners.

They generally like to please their owners and training must be fun. Beardies have an independent spirit which makes them challenging to train and take more work.

These Very Unique ‘Beardie Temperaments’ For The Training Sessions Will Be Easier For You:

  • It is such a smart and intelligent dog and also an independent thinker.
  • They get easily bored, so keeping the training interesting is important. When done with good attitude and patience, the results of training Bearded Collies can be truly rewarding.
  • Beardies are Friendly and extrovert dogs; they can be easily sidetracked.
  • When they understand that they are delightful, they may try to stage-manage you. When they realize they are in the limelight, they can put on quite a show.
  • They tend to be carefree, cheery, blissful dogs who like almost everyone. However, they are also unique. You would never find a cavalier sleeping in the bathtub, but you might find your Beardie there.
  • They are very insightful dogs and quickly sense their owners’ moods. If your Beardie knows you are getting angry or even mildly irritated during training, it may call it a day.

So Where To Start With Training?

  • Your Beardie should be exposed to all types of noises, situations, other dogs and people. Consciously and coolly make your dog get used to as many daily sounds as you can think of.
  • Take your dog everywhere with you. Visit all your dog friends who will allow your pup in the house and get your dog used to be around other dogs. This will ensure that you won’t have a shy or scared dog.
  • Promote interaction with persons who you meet en route.
  • Taking a puppy obedience class is particularly beneficial in early socialization. Your beardie must know that you are in charge.
  • You must choose the right combination of methods that works best for your dog. We get tired of the same old food day in, day out, so is your Beardie. They perk up if offered a variety of treats, from time to time. Typical motivators are play, praise, treats, toys, and food.
  • Play hide and seek, run with it. Use your head to make the training fun and exciting.
  • Try fetching games with your pup using a ball, Frisbee or soft toys. It is a great exercise and teaches your dog to come to you.
  • Discontinue the training if you are getting angry. Then again, a Beardie may push you as much as you will push.



Things To Consider When Feeding A Bearded Collie

Bearded Collies are very energetic and hardworking dogs.

You have to consider this activity level when deciding the calorie count for your dog.

If they are training, herding or doing agility, You have to consider their work.

The American bearded collie club has stated that an active adult Bearded Collie of approximately 50 pounds needs 1300 calories daily.

A Beardie that is doing training for a herding test or taking agility training may need up to 2100 kcal/day (50 lb dog).

Puppies need more calories than adult dogs. A Beardie puppy weighing 30 lb needs approximately 900 calories/ daily.

Given that Beardies are not-big dogs, it’s quite easy to get many good dog foods that are suitable for their size.

Avoid grains as they may cause diet-related health issues. Grains offer little to no nutritional benefit for your dog and only pass through.

Keep ample fresh water for your dog always. High protein, Grain-free foods can get the dogs parched, so maintain the water bowl full.

Foods Your Dog Can Eat

Foods to “Avoid”

Bearded Collie Grooming And Shedding


Known for the long facial hair, it is a big bushy beast descended from the English sheepdog. Some owners trim her hair to reduce both the frequency and length of the grooming sessions.

  • You must brush their coat three times a week to maintain the shine and to prevent tangles and mats.
  • Wash the dog every 4-6 weeks with a good pet-friendly shampoo.
  • Clean their teeth at least once a week. Use a dog toothpaste and toothbrush as they will swallow it. Consider having your Beardie’s teeth cleaned by a vet.
  • Clean their ears regularly to make sure that no debris and wax build up and lead to an infection.
  • Check often for burrs and twigs for an outdoor Beardie. Use your fingers and dust with cornstarch or powder like talc to help dry them out.

Bearded Collie Shedding

Beardies are not heavy shedders but they shed regularly. Brushing will help in reducing shedding as well as help keep the coat clean and soft.

They shed more heavily at the change of seasons. A heavy shed can be expected yearly once.  During this time, brushing, perhaps, will be required several times a week.

Shaggy dog syndrome

Bearded Collies become a matted mess without frequent brushing. Avoid this condition and groom your dog regularly.

Interesting Facts About Bearded Collie

  • Beardies are also called as the Mountain Collie, Highland Collie, and Argle-bargle.
  • This ultimate tail wager was the official dog of the shepherds in Scotland.
  • Bearded collies were initially bred as working dogs. They are able to endure harshest conditions.
  • It is estimated that eighty-five percent of the beardies visit a vet in a year.
  • The average cost of owning this breed is approximately US$ 13000 over its lifetime.
  • A Gainsborough portrait of the Duke of Buccleuch in 1771 contains the oldest known painting of a Beardie (or any other breed).
  • AKC(American Kennel Club) officially recognized the beardies in 1983.
  • In 1989, a female Beardie named Potterdale Classic at Moonhill won best in Show at Crufts, the world’s largest dog show.

Bearded Collie Health Problems

Beardies are a generally healthy breed with a lifespan of between 12 -14 years.

  • Health surveys show that the main cause of Beardie’s death is old age and next is cancer.  Kidney failure and cerebrovascular disease are the other top causes of death.
  • The only orthopedic issue that happens to Bearded Collie is hip dysplasia. The dog becomes inactive and feels the pain while jumping, running, and even walking. It is caused by a deformity in the hip joint that affects one or both of the hips.
  • Another problem is that their long coats tend to attract external parasites such as fleas and ticks.
  • The most common eye disease is Cataract. It the common cause of blindness in older Bearded Collies. Retinal dysplasia, Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and corneal dystrophy have also been reported.
  • Hypothyroidism, Colitis, Addison’s disease, Subaortic stenosis, and epilepsy are other health issues.
  • Allergies and ear infections are rather common due to profuse hair in the ear canal.

Bearded Collie Price And Breeders

Bearded Collie Price

The cost to buy a Bearded Collie varies significantly and depends on many factors such as your location, breeders’ reputation, the lineage of the puppy, litter size, breed popularity (supply and demand), training, breed lines and much more.

The current median price for all Bearded Collies sold is $900.00. This is the price you can expect to budget for a Bearded Collie with papers but without show quality or breeding rights.

Puppy without papers can cost lesser, however, we do not recommend buying a puppy without papers.

You should budget anywhere from $1,500- $2000 or even more for a Bearded Collie with top breed lines and a superior pedigree. Genetic testing is even expensive. Seems like a lot of money. But then you can’t put a price on love or for an adorable family member.




Bearded Collie Breeders

Assuming that you have researched about the Bearded Collie and wrapping up that this is the right breed for you, where do you buy one?

  • Do your researches before you buy. Inquire about the breeder’s reputation and after sales support. Be aware that flashy ads do not always equate to good business practices or quality puppies. It’s better to stay away from puppy mills, pet stores, and poor quality breeders.
  • Pet store guarantees often are for only two to thirty days. If pedigrees are available, the sales team knows nothing about the listed dogs.
  • An establishment that mass produces puppies (some ship as many as 1000 a week!) cannot take the time for the love, attention or physical care, a private breeder does.
  • Dog shows are a good place to meet responsible breeders. If exhibitors don’t have litters, ask them the contact of someone who does.

Red flags to find a dubious Breeder

  • He charges extra money to register puppies or to sell unregistered puppies. This is illegal under the Animal Pedigree Act.
  • Does not provide pedigree information or know the family history of the parent.
  • He cannot provide proof of health screening for both parents. He has no Certificate of vaccination. It should show what type of vaccination was administered and by whom.
  • They don’t provide Photocopies of all health certifications for both the parents of the puppy. This clearance should include hips, eyes (as a minimum).
  • There is no written sales agreement. A reputable kennel will provide you with a guarantee.  The terms vary depending on the individual breeder when you buy a puppy.

Finding a good Bearded Collie Puppy from a trustworthy breeder may not be easy. Be prepared to wait for some time. Most reputable breeders have a waiting list for their puppies. But keep in mind,  “good things come to those who wait”.

You May Like To Read:

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